Main | Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tragic End For Indian Couple

No words.
Two Indian women whose families had tried to break up their relationship set themselves on fire in what police describe as an apparent suicide. The charred bodies of Christy Jayanthi Malar, 38, and her partner identified only as Rukmani, 40, were discovered Saturday in the home of one of the women in the town of Sathangadu. Police said it appeared the women died in an embrace.

Both women were in opposite-sex marriages in what some LGBT activists say is common among Indian gays who must fight laws against homosexuality and pressure from families. The two women had been lifelong friends and had met while attending school together. Police said that the families of the two women knew of the relationship and had tried for years to separate the women. Despite the pressure the women continued to meet while their husbands were at work.

On Friday Rukmani went Malar's home following a heated argument with her family. Relatives followed her and continued to yell insults at her from the street. The next morning they committed suicide. "Around midnight, they poured kerosene on their body and set themselves on fire," a police officer told the Times of India. "They appear to have hugged each other during the final moments of their life."

In bitter irony both families agree to allow the remains of the two women to be cremated together. Following the suicide LGBT activists renewed their demands for the repeal of India's laws against homosexuality.

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